THE London suicide bombers may have been driven by a kamikaze desire for self-destruction, rather than political or religious motives, a conference heard today.

The four July 7 bombers may have been suffering deep despair or have been disappointed by their lack of achievement, a psychologist suggests.

Prof David Canter, of Liverpool University, told the London conference: "Internationally, there are plenty of suicide bombers who are not religious at all.

"The psychological process seems to emerge from seeing themselves as part of a community or sub-group that faces an implacable enemy.

"Some, at least, are understandable from the viewpoint of group-facilitated self-destruction, rather than their being driven by political or religious ideologies.

"It is very easy to underestimate the psychological component of individuals who go on to become suicide bombers."

The four bombers included Mohammad Sidique Khan, from Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, and Jermaine Lindsay, who came originally from Huddersfield.